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Hey, Did You Hear Ted Cruz Was Born in Canada?

Or maybe he was born in New York, and faked his birth certificate to hide the shame. I’m just saying.

Anyway, Professor Seth Barrett Tillman has a new post which compares the amount of attention given to the question of whether Senator Cruz is a “natural born Citizen” within the meaning of Article II, section 2, cl. 5, of the Constitution (a lot) with that given to certain legal issues surrounding a potential indictment of former Senator/Secretary Hillary Clinton (not much). Personally, I can think of a number of reasons for this disparity, the most obvious of which is that the citizenship issue has been publicly and repeatedly raised by another presidential candidate (I forget his name). If Senator Sanders, for example, were to raise one of Tillman’s legal issues in a debate with Clinton, I bet the legal commentariat would be racing to the blogs to express their views.

Be that as it may, I think we should be leery of prosecutors or courts inserting themselves into a presidential election, whether it involves Cruz or Clinton. Unless the legal issue is one that is beyond any reasonable dispute, the risk of politically motivated actors using lawsuits or prosecutions to disqualify candidates seems too high. As Professor Tillman has remarked in a different blog post focusing on the citizenship issue, “ties should go to the runner,” i.e., close questions should be resolved by letting the voters decide.

2 Comments

  1. Mike,

    I reply to your post here:

    Seth Barrett Tillman, Litigating (former) Senator Hillary Clinton’s Legal Woes: A Response to Professor Rick Hasen (Election Law Blog) and Michael Stern (Point of Order blog), THE NEW REFORM CLUB (Feb. 2, 2016, 9:01 AM), http://reformclub.blogspot.ie/2016/02/litigating-former-senator-hillary.html

    Seth

    Seth Barrett Tillman
    Lecturer
    Maynooth University Department of Law
    New House — #53
    Maynooth University
    Maynooth
    County Kildare
    Ireland

    W: https://www.maynoothuniversity.ie/law

    Seth Barrett Tillman, Ex parte Merryman: Myth, History, and Scholarship, Military Law Review [forthcoming circa Summer 2016] [peer reviewed], available at http://ssrn.com/abstract=2646888

  2. Thanks, Seth. I posted an additional comment today.

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